Tuesday, August 09, 2011
"Digital Ports" Embodies Original e-Coast Mission
I was pleased to attend this event last week at the new Music Hall Loft. Note: It's on street-level in the old Stuart Shaines space. Disappointingly, there is no loft. But it is a neat space, and the bartender (Scott, not hard for me to remember his name) is top-notch.
If you watch Dan's video above, you'll see my off-the-cuff answer to the question of why I showed up for the event. My longer answer ended up on the cutting room floor, but it went something like this: "This is the sort of thing we had in mind when we created the eCoast 12 years ago." There were comments all night about how much talent is here in the Greater Portsmouth area, but how few people really realize it. That's what the Seacoast --> eCoast initiative was all about: A bunch of coders and creatives taking a second to prairie-dog out of their cubicles and see all the other cool work that's going on all around them. Maybe they'll cross-pollinate and partner to win a big client. Maybe they'll find a new job, or just meet a new friend. It's all good when these people get together.
I liked how there were 3 levels of web design represented on Thursday:
1. Leah Creates. Leah produces appealing entry-level web presences for artists and other low-budget clients with a healthy dose of funk and whimsy.
2. VitalDesign, which although they serve smaller and larger clients, occupies the middle ground of web development in the area. They also offer a one-stop shop for SEO, PR, blogging, and other web-marketing-related initiatives.
3. Raka Creative represented the high-end, brand-centric development that has its roots in eyeon interactive/Wunderkind.
Interesting takeaways include Duncan's pronouncement that "Steve Jobs put the kibosh on Flash," Leah's confirmation that WordPress has in fact become the de facto standard web template for small business (and that it's a lot better than Geocities!), and that this group of professional techies is taking decidedly New England Yankee approach to Google+. One mentioned that the demo for Google-plus is currently something like "90% males 25-35 yrs old," so draw your own conclusions there.
The format of the evening was basically the booze and schmooze, followed by short Powerpointy samples of recent work from each company, followed by a short Q&A, followed by more booze and schmooze. Can't argue with the genius of more booze, but I did find myself wanting more substantive discussion of the current state of web design, especially vis-a-vis the local area. Early indications are that there will be more Digital Ports events, so I expect the format may be tweaked going forward. I'll certainly be there!